Itinerary Leon - San Martin del Camino
On today's route, after a few kilometres of an urban stretch that will allow us to leave the city of Leon, we will have to choose between the traditional path that runs along the moors, next to the N-120, or the alternative route to Villar Matarife.
Leon (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: the way out from León may seem somewhat confusing - pay attention to the signs so that you do not get lost on the path. Buen Camino!
From the Plaza de Santa María, where the Benedictine Hostel is located, we continue along Rúa and Ruiz de Salazar streets. We pass by Gaudi's Casa de Botines and the Palacio de los Guzmanes. From Ramón y Cajal Street, we turn left onto Renueva Street and going straight on, we link with Suero de Quiñones Avenue.
We go along this avenue until we reach the San Marcos Hostel, a Pilgrim's Hospital from the Middle Ages and a Parador de Turismo and currently a Museum, (km. 2.3). Next to the hostel, we cross the Esla tributary, the River Bernesga, and continue straight along Quevedo Avenue.
Following along this avenue, we reach Parroco Pablo Díez Avenue, which we will recognize by its red streetlights. Without getting lost, we reach a pedestrian footbridge over the railway tracks, which we then cross to enter the first town for today, Trobajo del Camino.
Trobajo del Camino (Km. 3,9)
Practical tips for this section: take advantage of those hidden corners that the villages try to keep secret on this section. Buen Camino!
On entering the locality, we continue along Pastor Pablo Díez Avenue. Following the pavement, on the right-hand side, we can see the Chapel of Santiago the Apostle. In the town, you can also visit the Chapel of San Juan Bautista.
When you arrive at the florist (km. 4.7) turn left, cross the Sira San Pedro Square and turn slightly to the right, along the street of the same name. We cross the avenue which we follow and continue going up Camino de la Cruz Street, next to some wineries.
Immediately, we will enter an industrial estate (km. 5.7) which ends at a petrol station, at the edge of the N-120 road. Following the hard shoulder, we enter Virgen del Camino.
Having reached the Sanctuary of Virgen del Camino, we cross the road on the left side and we go down La Paz street. We pass by the Fuente El Caño and arrive at a stretch of paved track with a large amount of graffiti.
At this point, we find the fork to Villar de Mazarife, the alternative to the traditional path. This itinerary passes through the villages of Fresno del Camino, Oncina de la Valdoncina, Chozas de Abajo and arrives in Villar de Mazarife, which has three hostels. This route is 4.2 kilometres longer but allows you to escape from the N-120. Both routes converge in Puente Órbigo tomorrow.
We opt for the traditional path and continue straight ahead, passing by the cemetery, by a service route that advances along past the last warehouses. We take the road that runs parallel to the N-120 and pass under a tunnel that crosses the A-66. At the exit, we turn right and climb up to an antenna surrounded by scattered trees.
The landscape around us is a moor, with flat and unsheltered terrain. Immediately, we enter the town of Valverde de la Virgen.
Valverde de la Virgen (Km. 12,2)
Practical tips for this section: between San Miguel del Camino and the next locality there are almost eight kilometres away, so it is advisable to make a stop in San Miguel del Camino and fill up your water bottle! Buen Camino!
We cross Valverde de la Virgen following the N-120 and at the exit, we return to the pathway that will lead us to the next town, San Miguel del Camino, where we can visit the Parish Church of San Miguel Arcangel.
Following our walk, which crosses the moors between the national N-120 and the nearby highway AP-71, and after almost two hours of walking, we enter Villadangos del Páramos. We enter the locality passing by the Santiago Apostle School and the Pilgrims' Hostel. In the locality, we can visit the Church of Santiago.
We cross the N-120 again to take Real Street. We descend down the street to cross an irrigation canal and continue advancing about 400 metres, between poplars and then return to the roadside of the N-120. At this point, two pathways run parallel to the road, one on the right side and the other on the left. You can take either of the two.
A straight of almost four kilometres leads us to the centre of the last town of the day, San Martín del Camino.
San Martin del Camino (Km. 24,6). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: In this charming town you will find all kinds of services. See you tomorrow!
In the distance, we can see the town's peculiar water deposit. The Pilgrim has the feeling of being directing to a town dominated by a flying saucer.
Those who are in good physical form and who are in a hurry to complete the Camino de Santiago, can easily expand this lengthy stage to the cosy town of Hospital de Órbigo.
In the village, you can visit the Parish Church of San Martín, the Ethnographic Museum and the Camino de Santiago.
Comments Leon - San Martin del Camino
Below you will find the recommendations in terms of safety for today's route. And of course, also some gastronomic suggestions.
How to get to Leon
León is very well connected with the rest of Spain and you can access the city by train, bus, plane or private vehicle.
People coming from outside Spain will find it more complicated, as only a few international flights arrive at the city's airport. Therefore, they will be forced to fly to another Spanish city and from there link to León.
If you do not want to worry about this type of detail, you can contact us and we will take care of the logistical management of the Camino de Santiago: transfers, accommodation and (optional) guide.
Precautions stage Leon - San Martin del Camino
Leaving the city ofLeón can be somewhat unpleasant, especially because of the high concentration of industrial estates.
Following the traditional path, the road runs very close to the N-120 national road, you must pay attention to the crossroads, especially those points that lack pedestrian crossings.
For people with reduced mobility, they are advised to follow the N-120 in the section that runs between León and La Virgen del Camino.
Food stage Leon - San Martin del Camino
On today's journey, we recommend the following Leonese dishes:
- Stewed Frog’s Legs
- Cod or Conger Eel “al ajoarriero” (a vegetable sauce with lots of tomato and garlic)
- Botillo del Bierzo (cold pork meat even with bones),
- Cecina de chivo de Vegacervera (sliced Mountain Goat meat)
- San Marcos Cake
What to do Leon - San Martin del Camino
Trobajo del Camino
Trobajo del Camino (or de Arriba) is a locality of something more than 20,000 inhabitants which belong to the municipality of San Andrés de Rabanedo. The village shares name with two other nearby villas: Trobajo del Cercedo (or De Abajo) and Trobajuelo, a district of Vega de Infanzones.
This fact is due, as the scholars point out, that by the end of the 10th century a Jewish landowner named Jacob Trepalio and a village called Trebalio were residing in these lands. The place name of Trobajo would be a derivation of this word: Trepalio, Trebalio, Troballo and, finally, Trobajo.
In the locality, you can visit the Chapel of Santiago the Apostole and the statue of the pilgrims, in front of the walkway that runs through the pilgrim path.
Chapel of Santiago the Apostle
The Chapel of Santiago the Apostle is located in the centre of Trobajo del Camino. It is a walled building, modest and small dimensioned. The construction was made in brick and stone on a pre-existing temple from the Early Middle Ages, on which a pilgrim's hospital was located, and which stopped working in the year 1785.
The current construction was carried out in the year 1777, according to the main façade of the temple. Next to the date, you can see the Cross of Santiago and a scallop, elements that were used during the Middle Ages to indicate the good reception of the walkers.
The Chapel was built in homage to the image of Santiago Matamoros, which is worshipped in the locality. On July 25th, the residents of Trobajo flock to the temple to celebrate their patron.
In the year 2009, a remodelling project was carried out, which eliminated the annoying urban elements, creating a diaphanous space round the church.
Inside the temple, there is an image of Santiago Matamoros from the 18th century, riding a white horse and wielding a sword. The work was done on behalf of the Santiago Brotherhood.
Mass times: Weekdays (8:30 and 20:00) Sundays and Public Holidays (10:00 and 12:00).
Church of San Juan Bautista
The Church of San Juan Bautista was constructed between the years 1794 and 1801 in the town of Trobajo del Camino. Next to the temple was created a cemetery that was used until the end of the 1970s, when the current cemetery began to be used.
The Church is built in stone and brick and has a bell tower with two bells refounded in the year 1989 in Valencia. One of the bells is dedicated to the patron saint of the Church, St. John the Baptist, and the other to Joseph and Mary. A weather vane that is named after the town crowns the belfry.
Inside the temple, there is a picture of St. John the Baptist from the 18th century. It also emphasizes the stature, of Renaissance style, of the Virgin of the Rosary and the Tabernacle, from the 16th century and in which one can appreciate the carvings of Saint Paul, Saint Peter and the Prayer of the Garden. The huge baptismal font is also a protruding element.
Virgen del Camino
Virgen del Camino is a town of about 5,000 inhabitants that belongs to the municipality of Valverde de la Virgen. The population stands out at a regional level because of its bars and restaurants, where typical local Leonese food is offered. Check out our gastronomic recommendations so you can taste the best regional dishes.
Sanctuary of the Virgen del Camino
The Sanctuary of the Virgen del Camino is located at the exit of the locality with the same name. The original Chapel was erected in the 16th century, in the place where, according to the local legend, the Virgin appeared to the pastor Alvar Simón Fernández.
However, the popularity of the Camino de Santiago and a large number of pilgrims visiting the temple made it necessary to build a new temple, much more spacious and modern, giving rise to the temple that we can observe today.
The first stone of the current temple was put in place in 1957 and the construction was carried out following the design of the Portuguese architect Don Francisco Coelho. The building that this Dominican architect projected was inspired by the rationalist movement and the constructions of Le Corbusier.
The church, built in the style of a Basilica, is made up of a single nave. The sculptures on the façade of the temple are the work of the Barcelona sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs, who represented the figures of the Apostles.
Inside the temple stands a baroque altarpiece, the work of the brothers Pedro and Antonio de Valladolid. Presiding over the altarpiece appears the Virgen del Camino, accompanied by Santiago and San Froilán. On the Virgin is located the image of San Miguel and scenes of the Annunciation.
Some elements of the interior of the temple, like the crucifixes, the lamps or the baptismal font, are also the work of the sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs.
Mass times: Every day. Monday to Friday (9:30, 10:30, 12:00 and 18:30), Eves (18:30 and 20:30) and Public Holidays (9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 18:30 and 20:30).
Valverde de la Virgen
Valverde de la Virgen is a town of 64 square kilometres that has a population of 7,300 inhabitants. Its streets are witness to the birth of Javier Pascual Rodríguez, a former professional cyclist who won a stage in the Vuelta of Spain in 2004.
San Miguel del Camino
San Miguel del Camino is a locality of 550 inhabitants, belonging to the Leonese municipality of Valverde de la Virgen. The town has a parish church, consecrated to the Archangel Saint Michael, patron of the village. In the past, the temple kept a carving of Santiago, from the 15th century. Today it is guarded in the Museum of León.
Villadangos del Páramos
Villadangos del Páramo is a locality of 45 square kilometres of land and has a population of 1,100 inhabitants. The village was repopulated during the early years of the Reconquista.
The town is known for the bloody battle that took place between the followers of Queen Urraca and her ex-husband the Aragonese King Alfonso I, known as the Battler, accompanied by his son Alfonso VII. In the village, you can visit the Church of Santiago.
Church of Santiago
The Parish Church of Santiago is located in Villadangos del Páramo and is dedicated to the Apostle Santiago. Its construction dates back to the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
From the outside of the temple, there stands out a large tower with a belfry, in which it is sometimes possible to observe stork's nests. The tower appears to have been completed in the year 1707 when the bells that can be observed were recast. The lower part of the tower is made of a boulder and the top, in brick.
In the access gates, dating back to 1735, there are carved two curious polychrome reliefs that represent the victory of King Ramiro I de León over Rahman II in the Battle of Clavijo (La Rioja). A victory that according to the legend, came with the help of Santiago the Apostle
Inside you can contemplate a stable in a Churrigueresque style dating from the 18th century. The altarpiece is presided over by the image of Santiago Matamoros, in which the Apostle is depicted riding with a raised sword, a three-peaked hat and a white flag.
On the niche that houses the figure stands the Cross of the Order of Santiago, surrounded by two shells, topped off by a crown. You can also see three canvases. One located in the upper central part, representing Jesus on the Cross with the Virgin and St. John, next to him.
The other two are located at the bottom. One represents the apparition of the Virgin of Pilar to Santiago and the other, the one located further east, to King Ramiro in the Battle of Clavijo. The two polychrome carvings located at the top of the altarpiece belong to the same group. One represents Santiago El Peregrino and the other, St. Claudius.
The ensemble is flanked by two Chapels. The left is popularly known as the Rosary, although it is dedicated to the Virgin. The other is presided over by a modern image of the Immaculate Virgin but is dedicated to the souls of Purgatory, depicted on canvas, at the bottom of the altarpiece.
Mass schedule: Every day. From May 1st to September 30th, Monday to Friday (20:00) and Holidays (12:45). From 1 October to 30 April, Monday to Friday (18:30) and Holidays (12:45).
San Martin del Camino
The town of San Martín del Camino belongs to the municipality of Santa Marina del Rey and has a population of 350 inhabitants. The town has a long tradition on the Camino de Santiago since San Martín was a French bishop who welcomed pilgrims under his cloak.
In the town, you can visit the church dedicated to the Bishop of Tours and the Ethnographic Museum and the Camino de Santiago. In the past, according to the research carried out by Juan Uría, the town had a Pilgrim's Hospital with four beds for men, four for women and one for priests.
Parish Church of San Martin
The Parish Church of San Martín is dedicated to the Bishop of Tours. From the outside of the temple stands the tower made of stone, which houses a belfry.
The interior highlights the importance of the bishop of Tours, located on the main altar. In the year 2009, the Bishop of Leon, Juan López, blessed the new altar of the church and the ensemble formed by the altarpiece, pulpit, table and chair.
Mass times: Sundays and public holidays throughout the year (11:30). In summer, the rest of the days (10:00) and in winter, the mass is celebrated in mid-afternoon, with a changing timetable.
Ethnographic Museum and Museum of the Camino de Santiago
The Ethnographic Museum and the Camino de Santiago de San Martín del Camino has been in operation since September 2011. This exhibition is located behind the municipal hostel and contains both permanent and temporary pieces. Inside, you can contemplate photographs, handicrafts, paintings, regional costumes, documents, etc.
From the outside of the building, your attention is drawn, from afar, by the water tank that looks like a flying saucer that flies over the town.